New missile marks ‘significant leap’ for Iran capabilities

Iran announced on 12 November that it had test-fired a new medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) with a stated range of 2,000 km.

The missile, a two-stage solid-fuel system known as Sajil, was launched from a site in western Iran near the Iraq border towards a target 800 km away, according to Western intelligence sources. As Jane’s went to press it was still unknown whether the launch was completely successful, although it appeared that the separation marking the two stages did occur.

“This is a whole new missile,” Uzi Rubin, former director of Israel’s Ballistic Missile Defence Organisation, told Jane’s . “Unlike other Iranian missiles, the Sajil bears no resemblance to any North Korean, Russian, Chinese or Pakistani [missile technology]. It demonstrates a significant leap in Iran’s missile capabilities.

“Regardless of the success of the test, this missile places Iran in the realm of multiple-stage missiles, which means that they are on the way to having intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities,” he added.

In statements released by state media, Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Mustafa Mohammad Najjar hailed the launch of the Sajil missile as “very fast”, adding that it would be easy to produce. Tehran’s Al-Alam television reported that the new missile utilises “composite solid-propellant fuel” and that unlike the Shahab-3 MRBM, which is launched only vertically, the Sajil c… >>>

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